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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Janet I. Tu.

Topic: microsoft research

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March 18, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Microsoft researcher Leslie Lamport wins prestigious Turing Award

Leslie Lamport, a principal researcher working out of Microsoft Research’s Silicon Valley lab, has been awarded the 2013 A.M. Turing Award.

The award has been referred to as the Nobel Prize of computing and is named after the British mathematician and computer scientist who was a pioneer in the field.

Leslie Lamport (Photo from Microsoft)

Leslie Lamport (Photo from Microsoft)

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December 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Exhibition from Microsoft Research’s first artist in residence goes on display

"Grip," by James George,  is on display at Studio 99 on the Microsoft campus. (Photo from Microsoft)

“Grip,” by James George, is on display at Studio 99 on the Microsoft campus. (Photo from Microsoft)

When people think of Microsoft Research, they usually think of high-end research in computing, software or the social sciences. They don’t think art.

But for several months now, Microsoft Research (MSR) has had an artist in residence: James George, a computer science graduate from the University of Washington who became part of the adjunct faculty at New York University’s interactive telecommunications program.

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July 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Researchers show off projects at Microsoft’s DemoFest

A sign language translator that uses the Kinect motion sensor.

A platform that lets city planners keep in touch with neighborhood residents during development projects.

Those were among the dozens of projects that Microsoft researchers, as well as teams of university students, demonstrated Tuesday during Microsoft Research Faculty Summit’s DemoFest.

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0 Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: community slate, demofest, design expo

July 15, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Bill Gates talks innovation, global problems and Microsoft Bob

Bill Gates speaks at the 2013 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit (Janet I. Tu / Seattle Times)

Bill Gates speaks at the 2013 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit (Janet I. Tu / Seattle Times)

Microsoft Chairman and Co-founder Bill Gates returned to the company this morning to talk about everything from the value of free software to social media to how computing can help solve global problems.

He spoke at Microsoft Research’s 14th annual Faculty Summit — the first time he’s spoken at this event. The  summit is a chance for Microsoft’s advanced researchers, employed in labs around the world, to gather and to demonstrate their work, as well as for academics from outside the company to learn about that research and to talk with company leaders.

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March 6, 2013 at 10:41 AM

From Kinect 3-D scanning to big data mapping, Microsoft researchers give glimpse of company’s future

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times March 6, 2013.] From a smartphone app capable of capturing 3-D scans to interactive whiteboards to a browser-based program allowing users to build a predictive model in minutes, the preview Tuesday of Microsoft’s TechFest 2013 was full of cool stuff. But the demos were…

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March 5, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Microsoft TechFest offers glimpse at future of computing

Microsoft Researcher Xiang Cao displays an avatar he created using Body Avatar, which lets users create 3-D avatars  using a Kinect sensor and their own body as the starting point for the avatar's shape. (Photo by Janet I. Tu / The Seattle Times)

Microsoft Researcher Xiang Cao displays an avatar he created using Body Avatar, which lets users create 3-D avatars using a Kinect sensor and their own body as the starting point for the avatar’s shape. (Photo by Janet I. Tu / The Seattle Times)

From a smartphone app capable of capturing detailed 3-D scans to interactive whiteboards to a program capable of visualizing in several ways how a social media message goes viral, Microsoft’s TechFest 2013 was certainly full of cool stuff.

TechFest is the company’s annual science fair in which its advanced researchers show demos of what they’re working on. Today, a small portion of the approximately 150 demos are being shown to media, customers and partners. Wednesday and Thursday, TechFest will be open to Microsoft employees.

More than just cool stuff, though, the demos — or at least the small portion shown in the preview today — brought into focus some research areas Microsoft has been working on for several years now: natural user interface (NUI) — meaning interacting with computing devices using touch, speech or gestures;  big data — synthesizing and making useful large amounts of information; and machine learning — the ability of computers to learn.

What came through at this TechFest is how those three areas often work together and also how “all these technologies are coming to maturity — both at Microsoft and in the industry at large,” said Steve Clayton, who writes about Microsoft Research for the company.

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